10 Tips to be Medication Savvy

pharmacy

Whether you occasionally wake up with a headache or you’re managing a chronic condition, prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications play a big role in our day-to-day health and wellness. Use the following tips to safely stay on top of your medications and make the most of your prescription drug benefits.

  1. Organize your medications in a pill box – By keeping your medications organized, it’s easy to keep track of what you’re taking and when.
  2. Set refill reminders – Use a calendar, electronic reminders, or set up auto-refill for your medications to help you keep track of when you’re due for a refill. You can also take it one step further and set up regular reminders for when to take your medications.
  3. Save money with generic drugs – Generics are tested to make sure the active ingredients are the same as the brand. You’ll get the same treatment quality at a more affordable price.
  4. Take advantage of prescription mail-order opportunities – Having your maintenance medications delivered directly to your home will save you time—and often, money.
  5. Check formularies for preferred medications – Preferred medications can be pretty spendy, but formularies can help you keep the cost in check. Share the information with your provider for an opportunity to pay lower co-pays. You can find complete drug lists and prior authorization criteria on our website at PacificSource.com/drug-list.
  6. Use caution when choosing a new over-the-counter medication – Read the drug facts label, and ask your provider or pharmacist if the medication is right—and safe—for you.
  7. Tell your doctor about all medications you’re taking – It’s important to provide this information every time you see your doctor. Remember to include over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements.
  8. Talk to your pharmacist – Your pharmacist is the expert and can answer questions you may have about side effects, drug interactions, and more.
  9. Take advantage of health services provided by your healthcare plan – Pharmacies offer flu shots and other immunizations, some of which may be covered by your plan at no cost to you.
  10. Read your explanation of benefits (EOB) – Your prescription medications are included on your EOB statements, which can help you understand your healthcare coverage and get the most value from your plan.

10 Lesser-Known Tips for Dental Health

Teeth - 10 lesser know tips illustration green-01Properly caring for your teeth not only keeps your smile looking its best; it can help you avoid a variety of dental and other health problems. You probably know the basics—visit your dentist at least twice a year, and brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day—but what else can you do?

Here are some lesser-known tips for taking great care of your oral health.

  1. Be thorough – set a timer and brush your teeth for a full two minutes. Less than that, and you may be leaving behind bacteria.
  2. When brushing, include your gums along with your teeth. This will help stimulate blood flow and improve your gum health.
  3. When flossing, wrap the floss around the tooth in a C shape before moving it up and down; this will cover more of the tooth surface. And don’t forget to floss along the back of the teeth in the very back of your mouth.
  4. Try a plastic floss holder, sold next to toothbrushes in most grocery and drug stores. These two-pronged plastic tools allow you to clean between teeth with one hand.
  5. Chew sugar-free gumstudies show that this stimulates the production of saliva, which can help reduce cavities. It can also trap bacteria and neutralize plaque acids.
  6. Use a mouth rinse to help reduce plaque.
  7. Avoid soft drinks, fruit juices, and sugary foods.
  8. This time of year, we know it can be difficult to pass up all sweets. If you do enjoy a dessert – especially a sticky treat like pecan pie – be sure to drink plenty of water along with it to help wash away any food particles on your teeth.
  9. Some medications can affect oral health. Talk with your doctor if your oral health has suddenly changed after starting a new medication.
  10. Last, but not least, avoid smoking tobacco or using smokeless tobacco products – these unhealthy habits can lead to gum disease and oral cancer, not to mention bad breath!